Sports Economists Getting Press

Posted on March 29, 2008 by


Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal asked the question: Is Joe Torre Worth the Money?  At the end of this article is the following:

“I think managers are a bit overrated in terms of the impact that they have on their players,” says J.C. Bradbury, an economist and associate professor at Kennesaw State University and author of “The Baseball Economist.” To make a team better, he says, “get better players.”

This sentiment is consistent with the following statement I posted a few days ago:

Again, coaches get far too much blame (and credit) for the outcomes we observe in the NBA.   It’s the general manager – the person picking the players – that ultimately determines the fate of a team.  This point needs to be remembered next time you visit  or  Firing the coach -without changing the players – is not likely to change much for your favorite NBA team.  And if your team’s general manager simply picks better players, you will probably discover that the coach you love to hate really isn’t so bad after all.

In sum, both Bradbury and I have done some research into the impact of coaches.  We find that coaches tend to get too much credit (and blame) for what happens on the field.

More Press Coverage

Bradbury is not the only one whose thoughts are being quoted in the press.  In the April issue of Men’s Vogue is a profile – written by Bryan Curtis — of Chris Paul.  Within this article is the following paragraph:

Despite being picked fourth in the 2005 NBA Draft and winning the league’s Rookie of the Year award, Paul has remained one of the league’s lesser-known superstars. That’s changing now. In December,’s John Hollinger looked at Paul’s stats and proclaimed that he was on pace to have the best season of any player under six foot three in NBA history. David J. Berri, coauthor of The Wages of Wins, has developed a formula that judges NBA players on the number of victories they’re responsible for. At midseason, Paul was the most productive point guard and fourth most productive player overall, only a few wins behind the likes of Boston’s Kevin Garnett. “Chris Paul is at an amazing level right now,” Berri says.

Curtis argues that Paul “is the most electric NBA player you haven’t heard of.”  For many NBA fans, I think Curtis is correct.  For readers of the Wages of Wins Journal, the following posts illustrate how often he has been the topic of conversation.

Defending Chris Paul

Chris Paul vs. Deron Williams, Again

Deron Williams for MVP?

Chris Paul, Deron Williams, and the Surprising Hornets?

Sabernomics Has A Birthday

Let me close this brief post by congratulating JC Bradbury on the fourth anniversary of Sabernomics.  I spent some time last night reviewing his original posts from 2004.  Not surprisingly, Sabernomics has been an excellent source of work on baseball and economics from the start.  Hopefully this resource will continue to be offered for many more years to come.

– DJ